Miesha Tate will not argue that Amanda Nunes is the greatest fighter in women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) history
Tate (19-7) lost the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight to Nunes (21-4) in her first title defense at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016. Nunes — the current owner of UFC’s women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight crowns — makes a strong case for Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) status. She boasts an active 12-fight win streak with finishes of Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg and Germaine de Randamie, plus a pair of decision wins over current UFC women’s Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko.
“Yeah, 100 percent, I think so,” Tate tells MMAMania.com when asked if Nunes is the best female fighter of all time. “You have to take into consideration her whole career. Maybe there is some argument because of some of the fights she lost, but I really look at what she’s done with who she’s done. The knockouts and the finishes. She finishes just about everybody.
“I really weigh heavily her second stanza. I really weigh that heavily and I just don’t know if anybody has done it more impressively. Especially how she’s getting stronger as she goes. You know what I mean? I don’t think very many people — if you look at Amanda’s career — you never would have predicted it. Amanda got good halfway through her career, maybe two-thirds almost. She definitely wasn’t a glimmer of the Amanda that she grew into. I think that’s really impressive too. The G.O.A.T. talk is always subjective, what people actually weigh into that.”
Tate made a successful UFC return following a near five-year layoff, defeating Marion Reneau (watch highlights) via third-round technical knockout on July 17, 2021. Should “Cupcake” make her way to the feeding ground of the “Lioness,” Tate’s gameplan is simple.
“She really is a beast of a woman. I don’t want to sit here and knock her very much. I think she is great. I’m a huge fan, but I know anyone is beatable. I think anytime you can put someone in a position where they don't want to be in — I think Amanda is great at leading the dance, Valentina Shevchenko is great at navigating the dance,” she says. “Anytime that you can take the ball and put it more in your court, that’s really the game plan. I don’t know if it would be so specific. Obviously, I think I have a grappling advantage when I’m not rocked. I think that’s the case against pretty much everybody, to be honest. Pretty much everybody.
“Amanda is amazing. She doesn’t have a ton of weaknesses. I think that’s why she has been the champion for so long. I think of anyone besides myself and Julianna [Pena] are the best to match up with her. We’ve seen what happens when people try and stand for too long. I’d like to remind everyone when I fought Amanda, we didn’t know she was the Amanda she was going to be. That was the start of it all. I didn’t know she had a right hand from hell. She never really used it before. We never saw that before. So she had this evolution that came through me. She also hit me at a really bad time in my career, which is no reflection on her either. It’s just what it was. She’s been amazing since then, but I’m still coming for her. I’ll give it whatever I got. You know me. I’ll turn it into a dogfight, I’ll do whatever I have to do to get the W. I’m not afraid of her. I’m not afraid of getting knocked out. I’m not afraid of losing. Nothing changes in my life win, lose or draw. That makes me incredibly dangerous because I fear nothing. I literally fear nothing anymore.”
Tate (No. 8) headlines UFC Vegas 43 against Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 43, which will take place inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Nov. 20, 2021, streaming online via ESPN+. Nunes, meanwhile, will defend her UFC women’s Bantamweight title against Julianna Pena inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Dec. 11, 2021, streaming online via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV).
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